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Scabies Cure | Skin Condition Causing Intense Itching | Mites Under Your Skin

Author C. Sanders. Published on June 12, 2011 - 6:47 pm (1919 views — 1170 words)

Scabies is a fairly common skin condition which causes very intense itching. It is easily caught through phyiscal skin-to-skin contact with people who already have the condition.

What Causes Scabies?
Scabies is caused by mites. These mites burrow under the skin surface and lay eggs. Red patches and blisters will form on the skin directly above each mite and become itchy. The itch is a reaction to the mite and its feces.

Scratching causes infections, since bacteria is able to infect the scratched surface. It is important to understand that scabies is not brought on by being dirty. It is highly contagious, but the good news is that it's very treatable and the treatments are effective.

How do I get rid of this awful condition?
Before anything, you need to be familiar with the signs of having scabies. We've already mentioned that it is caused by mites, but what kind of mites? Sarcoptes scabiei is the particular culprit in this case.

Scabies should be greatly considered as a possible cause to any case of extreme itching lasting over a couple of weeks, and especially months.

The signs include:

1) Intense itching all over your body.

2) Itching is worse as night, or worse when your body temperature has increased (after exercise, bath, or shower).

3) Red patches or blisters on your skin, especially between the fingers, on wrists, elbows, ankles, armpits, side of fingers, genitals (males), hands, and feet. On infants, you might find infections on the soles of their feet as they are not able to walk yet.

4) Tiny bumps on the skin. In many cases, this is the only sign.

5) Burrow lines on the skin. These will appear as small, threadlike lines of a grayish color, approx. 5 to 10mm (up to an inch and a half). They will be slightly raised, and can be anywhere on the body except the face.

Once you've had scabies, you can expect the itching to begin quicker if there is a repeat occurance.
The skin reaction to the mites will not occur until weeks after the mites have infested. While the scabies rash may only appear on parts of the body, the entire body is actually infected.

Pay a visit to your doctor
The doctor will usually only need to see the rash to diagnose the condition, but he may also take a sample by scraping under the bumps and then proceeding to look under a microscope for verification of scabies.

If you are pregnant or have any problems such as a serious illness, or other skin diseases, you must inform your doctor.

1) The doctor will prescribe a mite-killing cream or lotion that contains 5% permethrin.

2) For those who prefer an herbal cure, oil of neem is available from Mideastern markets and natural food stores, and many reports have shown it does the job.

3) If you suffer from a severe infestation and weakened immune system, Invermectin can be prescribed to you in the form of an oral treatment.

4) If you have let the problem persist until the point of a several bacterial infection, your doctor might also prescribe antibiotics.

Arrange for someone else to cook meals and to do anything that requires the use of water.
Doing this will ensure that you get the best results from your treatment, as it can be very ineffective if your skin is exposed to water or moisture. The most effective way to use the prescribed cream is to apply it before going to bed, and wash it off in the morning.

Applying the cream or lotion
The cream is generally just one application, so getting the most of it is important. Your prescription will come with notes such as:

1) Shower and towel-dry your body using a fresh, clean towel.

2) Wait until your body has cooled down.

3) Apply the cream or lotion. Start behind the ears and from the jawline and work your way down.

4) Don't skip any areas of the body. This includes your genitals, soles of your feet, between your toes, back, and buttocks. If you can't reach a certain area, get help. It's that important.

5) After applying, finish off with your hands by putting it under your fingernails, and reapply everytime you wash them.

The amount of time usually required for treatment is between 8 to 24 hours, so make sure there is nothing planned for the following day.

Shower off the cream/lotion
Once the time is up, wash your body thoroughly under a warm shower. You may still remain itchy for a few weeks, due to the body's reaction to the mite carcus still being under the skin. If you are concerned, speak with your doctor.

You may need to use a corticosteroid cream and antihistamines to control continued itching.

Some treatments need to be reapplied a week later. If so, your doctor or pharmacist will make this clear.

Everyone in the home needs to be treated to avoid reinfestation.
Don't forget visitors, and babysitters.

Clean your home thoroughly.
To take care of mites that might reinfest you after treatment, it's vital to clean the parts of your house that you've had direct skin contact with, such as bedding. A scabies mite can live for one to two days off the body. Washing will ensure that remaining mites are killed.

Vacuum floors, carpets, and rugs. Dispose of the bag or contents in an outside trash can immediately and dispose of as quickly as possible.

Wash all towels, bedding and recently worn clothes in hot water. Wash bedding daily until you have not seen new bumps for at least a week.

Wear disposable gloves when stripping beds. If you have a heavy comforter, take if off your bed and have it dry cleaned or throw it away, because it needs to be washed daily and if it’s too big, the hot water can’t saturate the layers.

Clothes that cannot be washed need to be bagged and placed in the freezer for 24 hours or left in the airtight bag in a room for one week. Freeze stuffed animals, brushes, combs, shoes, coats, gloves, hats, robes, wetsuits, etc. overnight in a plastic bag.

Dry clothing and bedding in a hot dryer or on the clothesline in hot weather under direct sunlight. Dry cleaning is also appropriate.

Disinfect floor and bathroom surfaces by mopping (this only needs to be done after the first treatment).

Hot dry pillows for 30 minutes.

Quarantine things that cannot be washed, hot dried, frozen or dry cleaned in a plastic bag for two weeks.

And finally...
If you are still itching after 6 weeks, this could possibly be an indication that the prescribed treatment did not work, or that you did not follow the steps accurately. At this point you will need to contact your doctor for advice and alternative treatment options.

A GP discusses the symptoms, causes, and treatment of scabies.